I'm curious about setting up a monitored blog/message board site for students. Where do I begin? Is there a "Blogging for Dummies?"
I also want to use texting, but resist because of all of those "lovely" teachers here in Florida that seem to cross the line, normally beginning with innocent texts.
I work in a very modern school that is wireless and is equipped with promethean boards, webcams, and student response systems. I want to effectively utilize the tools afforded me!
My first suggestion was setting up a Ning to engage the students in a communal and collaborative online environment. But then I thought, hey, let's ask the readers and get some of your ideas.
So, what do you think. If you had Promethean boards, webcams, and student response systems, what kinds of apps would you be using in class?
PS -- One of the things I really liked about this letter was that it addressed the fact that some teachers -- and not just in FL -- cross the line for one reason or another in communications with students. It's relatively easy to see how this can happen -- especially in the age of instant irretrievable communication. So, in terms of 'best practices', what are some of the guidelines you set out?
For instance, I refrain from friending students on FB (because while I occasionally use FB to illustrate things in class and while I encourage students to create groups on FB as an online presence for clubs and activities, I don't actually use my own FB feed for classroom purposes). I also insist on students having at least one Twitter feed exclusive to my class that I am at liberty to check at random for unseemly and digitally irresponsible DMs and Follows. This is all part of establishing the groundwork for the student's engagement with digital citizenship.
I am also vigilant about my own maintenance of separate Twitter feeds for my different roles as teacher, ed tech dude, musician, and dad. And I demonstrate this to my students via TweetDeck and explain to them the variety of ways I use Twitter. Because good modeling of digital citizenship is half the battle.